Photograph of NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz
NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz
NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz

October 1, 2018

The American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE) at Oak Ridge has a soft opening at its new location at 115 Main Street East. As of October 18, the Museum will be open seven days a week. An AMSE press release explains, “The new 18,000-square-foot space includes a newly-designed exhibit gallery featuring state-of-the-art interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, as well as a lecture hall and classroom facilities.”

September 28-30, 2018

In Hanford, the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers hold their third annual concerts at the B Reactor. According to the Tri-City Herald, the concerts, organized under the theme “Song of Democracy,” include the opening chorus of the John Adams opera “Doctor Atomic” and Benjamin Britten’s “Holy Sonnets of John Donne.”

September 22, 2018

In Hanford, bicyclists participate in the third annual Ride the Reactor event, which includes a tour of the B Reactor and interpretive talks by National Park Service rangers.

September 20, 2018

Oak Ridgers dedicates the new Peace Pavilion for the City’s International Friendship Bell in A.K. Bissell Park. The 8,000-pound Japanese-style bell, created in the 1990s as part of Oak Ridge’s fiftieth anniversary, is meant to symbolize peace and reconciliation between the United States and Japan after World War II. The ceremony for the new Peace Pavilion is covered by the Oak Ridger, WBIR, and the Knoxville News Sentinel.

July 29, 2018

The American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE) closes its doors at its location at 300 S. Tulane Avenue, where it had been open to visitors since 1975. AMSE will reopen in its new location at Main Street Oak Ridge in mid-October. According to Oak Ridge Today, “Exhibits in the new AMSE fall within one of five major categories: energy leadership, big science, national security, environmental restoration, and the Manhattan Project.” The museum will be open in its new location seven days a week.

July 19, 2018

An event, "Evolution of the Secret City: A Fireside Chat About the Hanford Story," commemorating the 75th anniversary of the opening of B Reactor includes a panel discussion at The Reach Interpretive Center.

July 13, 2018

The Manhattan Project National Historical Park-Los Alamos Friends Group and the National Park Service (NPS) sign a Philanthropic Partnership Agreement to further their mutual goals and support the funding needs of the park.

July 13, 2018

program on secrecy, security, and spies is presented by the Oak Ridge unit of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. The program takes place at the Turnpike Gatehouse in west Oak Ridge.

July 11-15, 2018

Los Alamos ScienceFest includes a variety of events and speakers on science and the history of the Manhattan Project and Los Alamos, including a free showing of the documentary "The Half Life of Genius: Physicist Raemer Schreiber" at the Reel Deal Theater. As part of ScienceFest, public tours allow visitors access to three Manhattan Project sites – Pond Cabin, Battleship Bunker, and the Slotin Building – that are on property managed by the Department of Energy.

June 16, 2018

The Bruggemann Warehouse at the Hanford site has been selected as one of Washington State’s five most endangered places. The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation develops its annual list based on a site’s historical significance and the urgency of the threat to it.

June 1, 2018

The building at 101 Bus Terminal Road in Oak Ridge, TN is reported to be mostly demolished. After the Manhattan Project, it served as a security communication center. The building was connected by radio to Building 9213, which stored uranium-235 at the Y-12 Plant for about a year. 101 Bus Terminal Road was later used by the military and the Oak Ridge Police Department. For more, please see the article from Oak Ridge Today

May 31, 2018

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that photographer Ed Westcott (pictured) has been nominated for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Westcott, who turned 96 earlier this year, was the official US Army photographer at Oak Ridge, TN during the Manhattan Project.

May 2018

DOE completes a multi-year rehabilitation project on the White Bluffs Bank, which is the only remaining structure from the original townsite near Hanford.  The bank had suffered significant deterioration over the years. In May, the rehabilitation project was awarded the 2018 Washington State Historic Preservation Office's Valerie Sivinski Award for Outstanding Rehabilitation. For more about the bank and the project, please see this Tri-City Herald article.

March 22, 2018

The Department of Energy holds a "HerStory" Women's History Month celebration at the New Hope Visitor Center at Y-12 National Security Complex. The event honored Manhattan Project veteran Kattie Strickland, who worked as a janitor at Oak Ridge during the war. This is just one of a number of similar events held at sites across the Manhattan Project complex this year.

January 8, 2018

The National Park Foundation publishes a blog post, Interpreting the Legacy of the Manhattan Project, which features the Manhattan Project National Historical Park and the work of the Atomic Heritage Foundation to preserve and interpret the history of the Manhattan Project. 

November 20, 2017

D. Ray Smith, Y-12 National Security Complex historian, receives a U.S. Department of Energy Gold Medal Award for his role in helping to create the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. The award is presented to Smith by retired Lieutenant General Frank G. Klotz, DOE under secretary for nuclear security and administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

November 15-18, 2017

Los Alamos hosts more than 75 museum professionals the New Mexico Association of Museums annual conference. Kris Kirby, superintendent for the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, kicks off the conference with a keynote address that shares how the National Park Service and museums enable visitors to discover the nation’s cultural and natural resources.

October 19, 2017

DOE and UCOR, DOE's cleanup contractor in Oak Ridge, host a walk-through for the public, at the future home of the K-25 History Center. The center will be on the second floor of Oak Ridge's Fire Station Number 4 in East Tennessee Technology Park. According to Oak Ridge Today, the history center "will be 7,500 square feet, and it will include exhibits, a theater, oral histories, and a few hundred artifacts."

September 11, 2017

The Tri-City Herald reports that the Hanford portion of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park should have its first park service manager on site this fall. Becky Burghart has been named site manager for the Hanford portion of the park. Burghart brings a tremendous amount of experience as chief of interpretation at White Sands National Monument in Alamogordo, N.M., which also gives her some familiarity with Hanford.

September 2017

Events at each of the park sites mark the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Manhattan Project this month. In Oak Ridge, renowned Manhattan Project photographer Ed Westcott opens a photo presentation, followed by a talk by Denise Kiernan, author of the bestselling book The Girls of Atomic City, while the city also breaks ground on the new International Friendship Bell Pavilion in A.K. Bissell Park. In Hanford, the sounds of the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers will once again fill Hanford's B Reactor, this time performing Annelies by composer James Whitbourn, a cantata based on Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. In Los Alamos, the Los Alamos Historical Society also host two special events in Fuller Lodge.

August 17, 2017

The Energy Communities Alliance (ECA) Peer Exchange meets in Hanford, Washington and Tracy Atkins, principal representative for the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, speaks about the progress being made on the park’s implementation. ECA attendees include elected officials from Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Los Alamos, New Mexico; Hanford/Tri-Cities, Washington; and U.S. National Park Service staff.

July 25, 2017

The National Park Service and the Department of Energy join the Port of Benton for a ceremony dedicating the newly renovated Manhattan Project National Historical Park Interim Visitor Center, at 2000 Logston Blvd., in Richland, Washington. The Port of Benton spent over $100,000 on new exhibits and other improvements to enhance visitor experience at the center.

July 4, 2017

The Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos (supported by DOE and Los Alamos National Laboratory) opens three new Manhattan Project exhibits and releases a video as part of a new MAPR experience called “Manhattan on the Mesa,” helping visitors to the Manhattan Project National Historical Park experience the park properties at the laboratory that are not yet open to the public.

March 15-18, 2017

The "Legacies of the Manhattan Project: Reflections on 75 Years of a Nuclear World" conference is held in Richland, WA. Discussions about park implementation are featured throughout the conference.

January 2017

The National Park Service has completed an important step by publishing the Manhattan Project National Historical Park's (NHP) foundation document. As reported by the Atomic Heritage Foundation, "this document establishes a baseline for park planning and interpretive activities and provides basic guidance for planning and management decisions. As presented in the foundation document, NPS promises to engage visitors in learning about the “Secret Cities,” assessing the Manhattan Project’s scientific and engineering advances, and reflecting on the dawn of the nuclear age and its legacy for today. NPS will now begin the multiyear process of creating a general management plan that will guide the Manhattan Project NHP’s operations for twenty years."

November 30, 2016

The Department of Energy and the National Park Service report considerable progress in their inaugural year managing the national park commemorating the Manhattan Project. Since the park’s inception, DOE and NPS have installed visitor contact stations in all three communities. DOE and NPS report they have also formed partnerships with organizations supporting the park, and the influx of thousands of park visitors benefits the local economies. This month, DOE also made its Office of Legacy Management responsible for park management. Legacy Management named Tracy Atkins its principal representative for the park.

       First-year accomplishments at the park units include:


  • Eliminating the age requirement for all park facilities and increasing tour seats by 40 percent to 14,000.
  • Working with partners to enable recreational opportunities inside the park for the first time, including a full-scale choral concert and 20-mile bike ride.
  • Piloting an agreement with a riverboat cruise company to bring its own buses to B Reactor and hire Hanford trained guides, resulting in more visitors at no government cost.

       Oak Ridge

  • Expanding Oak Ridge Reservation facility access for park interpretive events, including the Secrecy, Security and Spies Education Program at the DOE Historical Gatehouses, Bike Tours on DOE Greenways and special tours for Girl Scouts and Girls, Inc. at the X-10 Graphite Reactor.
  • Doubling the days for bus tours to more than 120 days a year. 

       Los Alamos

  • Forming an agreement between NPS and the National Nuclear Security Administration for historic preservation work on park and park-eligible buildings.
  • Finalizing smartphone apps to support park interpretations at Los Alamos park properties.
  • Sampling for industrial hygiene at properties for worker access and historic preservation work in park and park-eligible buildings. 

November 10, 2016

The Manhattan Project National Historical Park celebrates its first anniversary. As part of the anniversary, the newly appointed Manhattan Project National Historical Park Superintendent Kris Kirby visited Hanford. According to the Tri-City Herald, Kirby spoke about increasing the public tour program at Hanford. She also visited the historic B Reactor, and described seeing the front face of the reactor as her "Wow!" moment.

September 2, 2016

The NPS announces the selection of Kris Kirby, a 20-year career NPS employee, as the new superintendent of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Ms. Kirby assumes her new duties October 16, 2016.

August 18-19, 2016

Energy Communities Alliance (ECA) members from the three local communities host a Peer Exchange on Implementing the Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Denver. ECA members are joined by regional and national DOE and NPS officials to discuss the status of the park and strategies moving forward.

August 17, 2016

Representatives from DOE and NPS participate in a strategic planning workshop in Denver, Colorado. The outcome will be an official strategic plan for the park, scheduled for public release in the coming months.

May 12, 2016

Senior officials from DOE and NPS sign a charter that sets forth the responsibilities of the Executive Management Committee (EMC), the Joint Park Management Team (JPMT), and the Working Groups. The mission of the Executive Management Committee for the Manhattan Project National Historical Park is to provide a mechanism for joint administration and oversight between the NPS and DOE, and to help ensure the park is meeting the purpose for which it was established. EMC will provide broad oversight and strategic direction for the park, support problem solving between NPS and DOE, and coordinate on budget requests for the individual agencies. JPMT facilitates communication and coordination on operational issues between the three locations and implementation of the strategic direction of EMC. EMC may also appoint working groups to research and make recommendations on issues to EMC. 

February 11-12, 2016

NPS and DOE participants in the Foundation Workshops meet in Denver, Colorado, to assess the workshop findings, develop interpretive themes for the park, and discuss next steps.

February 1-9, 2016

NPS, in coordination with DOE, holds successive two-day Foundation Workshops at the Oak Ridge, Hanford, and Los Alamos sites. Workshop participants explore the purpose, significance, fundamental resources and values, and interpretive themes for the park, as well as assess planning and data needs. Local experts participate in the discussions, and an open meeting is held at each of the sites to allow for public input.

February 1, 2016

NPS names Tracy Atkins as interim superintendent of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Ms. Atkins has been the project manager for the new park.

January 7, 2016

NPS releases the Scholars' Forum Report from the roundtable discussion on the Manhattan Project held on November 9 and 10.

November 11-12, 2015

Oak Ridge, Hanford, and Los Alamos communities hold celebrations to mark the opening of the new park. NPS launches its Manhattan Project National Historical Park visitors page.

November 10, 2015

In a ceremony in the auditorium of the South Interior Building, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz sign the Memorandum of Agreement between the two agencies defining the respective roles in creating and managing the park. With the signing, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park officially is established, and the two secretaries ceremonially pass the baton to NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis. A reception is held following the signing.

November 9-10, 2015

NPS hosts a Scholar’s Roundtable consisting of Manhattan Project experts to help identify the themes that will be used to tell the Manhattan Project story at the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

August 18-20, 2015

NPS officials, accompanied by an interpretive team from the NPS Harpers Ferry Center, tour the Oak Ridge properties and hold preliminary discussions with DOE headquarters and local officials on launching the park. DOE and NPS officials brief Oak Ridge community leaders.

July 28, 2015
NPS posts for comment the draft Memorandum of Agreement between DOE and NPS on its Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) site. The Park Service also provides a list of frequently asked questions and maps with the initial properties to be included in the park.

July 27, 2015

Secretary Ernest Moniz hosts NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis for a briefing on the status of implementation of the draft Memorandum of Agreement that, when signed by DOE and NPS, establishes the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. NPS Deputy Director Peggy O'Dell and Associate Director Vic Knox accompany Director Jarvis. DOE Under Secretary for Management and Performance David Klaus briefs them along with senior DOE officials and staff.

June 2-4, 2015

The joint DOE/NPS team meets in Los Alamos for the last of the three site visits. The group is briefed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Bradbury Science Museum and tours the lab’s Manhattan Project properties. The team does a walking tour of the townsite and has several opportunities to meet with community groups and leaders. An open house is held at the historic Fuller Lodge. See Photo Album.

June 1, 2015

The joint DOE/NPS team tours the Trinity Site on the White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, where the world's first nuclear explosion occurred on July 16, 1945. The team visits ground zero and the restored McDonald ranch house where the device's plutonium core was assembled. See Photo Album.

April 14-16, 2015

The joint DOE/NPS team meets at the Hanford Site in the second of three site visits. The group tours the B Reactor, the T Plant reprocessing canyon, and the four pre-Manhattan Project eligible areas. The group also talks with current and former workers, meets with community officials and the area’s National Park Advocacy Committee, hosts an open house for the public, and meets with area Tribes. See Photo Album.

March 24-26, 2015

The joint DOE/NPS team meets in Oak Ridge for the first of three site visits. The group does a daylong tour of the Oak Ridge Reservation’s three sites, visiting the “eligible areas” for inclusion in the park as cited in the Defense Act. The team also has several opportunities to meet and get to know the community and its leaders. The park service members receive an especially warm and appreciative welcome as the first visible sign of the new park. See Photo Album.

February 12-13, 2015

A team composed of approximately two dozen field and headquarters representatives from both the DOE and NPS meet for the first time at DOE’s Forrestal headquarters building in Washington, D.C. DOE field site representatives brief the group on wartime history at the sites and facilities, equipment, and artifacts that could be used for interpreting the Manhattan Project. The team also discusses the development of the Memorandum of Agreement between the two agencies, which will identify respective roles and responsibilities in creating and managing the park, as required by the Defense Act. Once the memorandum is signed, no later than December 19, 2015, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park officially will be established. Finally, the team agrees on a schedule for visiting all three sites to evaluate the sites, develop a working relationship with the local communities, and draft the memorandum to create the park.

December 19, 2014

President Obama signs the National Defense Authorization Act into law, authorizing the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.